Before I jump to the tools that define my writing workflow, I would like to tell you a story of how these tools got together, and how they create great digital publishing environment. This workflow will amaze you and make you more productive, whether you want to publish a book, write a blog post, or create a content submission for your freelance client. If you are not proficient with markdown syntax (and you write for the web) I suggest you check it out before reading this post.
Writing vs World Of Warcraft – How I want to model my behavior
Towards the end of 2014 I was asking myself a question: “why am I not publishing more blog posts”? The answer is rather simple: I am not spending enough time in front of the computer. My writing workflow has been in the nurturing phase over past 4 years, and it took me a lot of time tweaking and playing with it, before I got it to deliver me the optimal results. Typing on the iPhone might be quick and convenient, however publishing isn’t as good as it is on the laptop, and my access to information is slightly limited. I think that my published output would be dramatically improved if I spent more time in front of my computer; This made me wonder: how is it that I am not capable of pulling off 16-hours computer sessions in a similar way that I’ve managed to do when I was a hard core World Of Warcraft player?
That obsession caused me to neglect completely other parts of my life in order to progress something that wasn’t even contributing towards my bottom line. There were only three things I would do: sleep, eat and play the goddamn game. Granted I was “going to school” and was unemployed with no responsibility, which allowed me to have full focus on the game. If I had only half of that kind of dedication and commitment towards writing, I could finish two books in a year and publish articles daily. It would be a part of my life, like walking. The threshold for starting the article would be much, much lower, and would extend onto everything.
Typing is not the problem; The real problem is that I am addicted and glued to my smartphone with mindless flicking through Twitter, Instagram and RSS feeds. However I can confess that since I’ve fixed my Evernote problems, and since I’ve got my iPhone 6+, I do seem to write more often. At some point I will be able to publish every day, with impunity.
You’ll Be Able To Join Me In Tracking My Progress
In the upcoming year I will be “freestyle” blogging here, covering a variety of topics of Alpha interest. For the most part, I’ve been used to publishing here via my iPhone, and that trend will continue, like writing a longer text to a dear friend.
The solution that I will have to implement will probably be a tracking script from Jamie Todd Rubin, which he’s used to track his daily word count for years. This is a top priority task for me today. When we make a more significant investments to the goal early, we tend to become more emotionally invested into the topic.
This script will pull the daily word count into a Google Spreadsheet, which will in turn push data towards google sites, which I will embed onto my personal website. I believe that this will give me a daily dose of motivation, as I will be able to have others track my progress. Writing emails and any other non-alpha efficiency writing will be accounted for here. Perhaps I will find a way to segment it.
Carving Out The Space And Time For Daily Writing Sessions
What I’ve noticed is that I like the quiet times, when nobody disturbs me, so I will need to find the time of the day where I have the fewest distractions and where I will be able to create insane value. I have tons of ideas; There is absolutely no reason for me not to be able to write all the waking time. It is absolutely critical to keep this kind of level of content production and dedication. And I will stop relying on the inspiration and wondering do I feel good about writing on a certain topic or no. I will allow myself to get fully consumed with my writing habit. And have Darren and Milan help me with the publishing part.
Technology that I will use to accomplish this challenge
This is a simple list of tech that I will use. If you are a regular reader of Alpha Efficiency, you probably own a few of these gadgets:
- Retina MacBook Pro 15″ – my main device
- iPhone 6+ – which I used to write this post
- iPad Air 2 with Logitech UltraThin Keyboard – a device used for distraction free writing
- Drafts – to start ideas and keep snippets
- Byword – my publishing and distraction free writing environment
- Evernote – as a destination point for all my half-finished articles, where I can access all the ideas I’ve worked on with a simple search
- Dropbox – to sync my word count and text files from the iOS towards the Google Drive scripted folder
- Google Drive – to extract the daily word count from the scanned folder and update the statistics
- Google Spreadsheets to pull the data from the script and create simple daily chart reports on my writing activity.
- Omnifocus – to connect my writing tasks with my Evernote notes (an article on that coming up!) and as a part of my task management workflow.
This pretty much summarizes this extensive list of technology. Majority of the tools from this list has been already tested and used, and some bugs, like Evernote bugs that came with iOS8 have been weeded out in order for this kind of platform to work. I think that iOS8 finally reached a point of stability where things will work decently and reliably enough, that I will be able to deliver the results on a consistent basis.
What’s In It For You?
I will admit that Jamie Todd Rubin is the main inspiration behind my writing resolution of 2015. The big value out of this will come for aspiring writers that want to get moving off of their couches (or keep writing from there), into tangible, consistent results. When you read about someone daily running towards their own goals, it gives you a perspective of what is necessary in order to succeed.
Apart from that the even bigger benefit is that Alpha Efficiency will have much more fresh content, hopefully even daily. I’ve already started on working on hundreds of new ideas that are waiting for their day for the fruition. Stay tuned for more articles on Evernote, Omnifocus and whole lot of new experiments on my own psychology, body, mind hacks and improvement on self discipline. Let’s stick together in this 2015 and make it a best year yet!